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March 2016 - Robert Littlefield Buford III, Attorney at Law

What are the Signs of Family Violence?

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Family Violence

Crimes involving family violence are a serious issue in the state of Texas that are aggressively investigated and prosecuted by authorities. When police respond to a call involving family violence, they often have to make spur of the moment determinations about whom, if anyone, to arrest. Unfortunately, this often results in innocent parties being arrested or prosecuted for crimes they did not commit. When this occurs, it is critical for people that have been accused of family violence to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect their legal rights.

Family Violence can be Prevented

While, as criminal defense lawyers, we generally work with people who have already been accused of family violence, as members of the community we believe that it is best to prevent family violence before it starts. In addition, it is important to help people that are the victims of family violence and who not have the resources or ability to report it to authorities. As a result, it is important for everyone to be on the lookout for signs of family violence and to offer assistance to those who need it. Some of the more common signs of family violence include the following:

    • Frequent injuries that are explained away as “accidents”;
    • Regular absences from work or school;
    • Attempts to hide injuries using clothing or accessories;
    • Fear and anxiety;
    • Lack of access to financial resources;
    • Bruises and other soft-tissue injuries;
    • Constant reporting to a partner regarding where a person is and what he or she is doing; and
    • Low self-esteem.

When family violence does occur, it is often unclear as to which person was the aggressor in a particular situation. Even if violence did occur, it may have been legally justified as self-defense. For this reason, anyone accused of family violence should contact a lawyer immediately.

Call an Austin Criminal Defense Attorney Today to Schedule a Free Consultation
Allegations of family violence are serious issue and can have a substantial impact on a person’s life. Fortunately, an attorney can often effectively mitigate the consequences that people who are accused of violence against family members are facing and may even be able to have the case completely dismissed. To schedule a consultation with one of our Austin criminal defense lawyers, call The Law Office Of Robert L. Buford today at 512-476-4444.

5 Ways to Help Reduce Family Violence in Your Community

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Family Violence

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately one-third of women are victims of family violence. Family violence also regularly affects children and men and can cause serious harm. In addition, those accused of family violence can face serious criminal charges and potentially harsh consequences if they are convicted. It is important for communities to work together to reduce family violence and the following are five ways in which your community may start to make a difference.

Be Aware Of The Signs — In order to recognize family violence, you must be familiar with the signs, which can differ from one household to another. Signs go well beyond visible injuries and can include withdrawal and isolation of the victim, controlling behavior of the abuser, and more.

Use Technology For Community Support — There are many safety apps for your smartphone that allow you to send an alert if violence is occurring. If you believe someone is a victim and they do not have a smartphone, see if your community can pool resources to ensure they can get the technology they need for assistance.

Call the Police — If you suspect that family violence is occurring in your neighborhood or if you witness an incident, you should not hesitate to call the authorities. Intervening yourself can be a tricky and even dangerous situation, however, calling the police may help keep someone safe.

Check In — If you suspect that a friend, relative, or neighbor is suffering from family violence, make sure to regularly call or meet with that person to see if they are alright. Even if you do not directly address the topic of family violence, simply knowing you are there for support may make them more willing to reach out if they need help.

Spread Education — Because family violence often happens behind closed doors, many people are not aware of the magnitude of the problem. Educating your community about family violence can not only reduce the number of abusers but may help to provide support and assistance to victims.

Call An Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

Family violence affects many aspects of a community, including the criminal justice system. If you have been arrested on suspicion of family violence or have been charged with a crime, you should call an Austin criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Call the law firm of The Law Office Of Robert L. Buford at 512-476-4444 for help today.

Could Police have Marijuana Breathalyzers Soon?

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Marijuana Breathalyzers soon?

Determining whether a driver is under the influence (DUI) of marijuana has long been an issue for law enforcement officers in the state of Texas. Unlike alcohol, marijuana intoxication is often difficult to detect and cannot be accurately measured through a roadside test like a breathalyzer. As a result, DWI convictions based on marijuana were often difficult to obtain. This may soon be changing, however, as CBS News reported late last year that a California based company has created a marijuana breathalyzer that will be able to measure that amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in a person’s breath. These devices are being developed largely in response to the perception of an increased problem with stoned drivers in states like Colorado and Washington that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana.

A Breathalyzer will not Result Automatic Convictions

Many people are under the mistaken impression that breathalyzer evidence, whether related to alcohol or other substances, is incontrovertible and will always result in a conviction. This is certainly not the case, and there are many situations in which an experienced attorney can cast doubt on the results of a breathalyzer test or even have the evidence excluded completely. Some of the more common legal challenges to breathalyzer evidence include the following:

  • Arguing that evidence that was gathered was done so in violation of a suspect’s constitutional rights;
  • Introducing evidence that the breathalyzer used was improperly calibrated; and
  • Establishing that  the officer that performed the test was improperly trained.

Whether any of these or other defenses applies in a particular case depends on a variety of factors, so it is important for anyone that has been accused of drunk or drugged driving to have their case thoroughly reviewed by an experienced attorney. In addition, even when there are no defenses available, an attorney can often negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor handling a case that avoids the more serious criminal penalties that a defendant may be facing.

Contact an Austin DWI Lawyer Today to Schedule a Free Consultation

If you have been accused of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you should contact an experienced Austin criminal defense attorney immediately. To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our lawyers, call The Law Office Of Robert L. Buford today at 512-476-444.